political, economic, and cultural components and do not necessarily lend themselves to be resolved by conventional military strength. indeed, the most destructive and horrific attack ever on the united states came not from fleets, ships, bombers, or armored divisions, but from 19 fanatical men wielding box cutters and 1-way plane tickets. so our military must continue to adapt. we adapt in order to remain effective and relevant in the face of threats markedly different from those that shaped our defense institution during the cold war. since 9/11, the military has grown more deployable, more expeditious erie, more flexible, more lethal, and certainly more professional. it has also grown significantly older, as measured by the age of our plan -- of our force.